Balance recovery is compromised and trunk muscle activity is increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Smith, Michelle D., Chang, Angela T. and Hodges, Paul W. (2016) Balance recovery is compromised and trunk muscle activity is increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Gait and Posture, 43 101-107. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2015.09.004

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Author Smith, Michelle D.
Chang, Angela T.
Hodges, Paul W.
Title Balance recovery is compromised and trunk muscle activity is increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Journal name Gait and Posture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0966-6362
Publication date 2016-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2015.09.004
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 43
Start page 101
End page 107
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Increased respiration in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires greater abdominal muscle activation, which may impact on contribution of the trunk to postural control. This study aimed to determine whether recovery of balance from postural perturbations and trunk muscle activity differs in people with and without COPD before and/or after exercise. Electromyography (EMG) of the obliquus internus (OI) and externus (OE) abdominis, rectus abdominis (RA), erector spinae (ES) and deltoid muscles was recorded with surface electrodes during rapid shoulder flexion and extension. Time taken to regain baseline centre of pressure velocity (vCOP) and the number of postural adjustments following arm movement was calculated from force plate data. Time to recover balance in the direction of postural disturbance (anteroposterior vCOP) was longer in COPD, particularly more severe COPD, than controls. Mediolateral vCOP (perpendicular to the perturbation) and the number of postural adjustments did not differ between groups, but people with more severe COPD were less successful at returning their mediolateral vCOP to baseline. Abdominal muscle EMG was similar between groups, but controls had greater ES EMG during arm movements. Individuals with more severe COPD had greater OE and RA EMG both before and during arm movement compared to those with less severe COPD and controls. Following exercise, OE and ES EMG increased in people with less severe COPD. This study shows that severe COPD is associated with impaired ability to recover balance and greater trunk muscle activity during postural challenges. Augmented trunk muscle activity may limit the contribution of trunk movements to balance recovery and could contribute to increased falls risk.
Keyword Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Postural control
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 11 September 2015

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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